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Hardware Thread, Epson Interactive Projectors in Technical; Does anyone have one of these? How do they compare to other IWB solutions, either Smart/Promethean style or e-Beam/Mimio style?...
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    enjay's Avatar
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    Epson Interactive Projectors

    Does anyone have one of these? How do they compare to other IWB solutions, either Smart/Promethean style or e-Beam/Mimio style?

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    Experience with the Epson BrightLink

    We were the first school in North America to install an Epson BrightLink Interactive Projector. It's been great! It's easy to install and use and has an amazing, bright image. Interactive surfaces (whether a board or a projector like the BrightLink) can be a great way to involve students in the learning... when used correctly. That part is teacher training, though, not the board or surface's fault.

    When considering a solution for interactivity, two of the biggest things that our school district had to keep in mind were cost and quality. At about $1800 for a 96" surface, the Epson BrightLink packs a lot more bang for the buck than a comparably priced all-in-one solution from Promethean or SMART. The fact that the BrightLink can be adjusted and also project onto any light-colored surface means that you don't have to worry about removing (and losing) additional whiteboard space.

    The quality is the other important issue. The ultra-short throw projector on the BrightLink is a beautiful image. It is far brighter, sharper, and more accurate than any of the DLP projectors that come with the usual all-in-one solutions. In our digital age, visual literacy is important... and color accuracy and clarity are essential aspects of visual communication.

    RM Easiteach, the software bundle of images and flash activities that the BrightLink can come with, is easy to use. It's not as polished as the SMART or Promethean software, but very few of our teachers take advantage of those tools on our Promethean boards.

    We have an additional 32 on order, so we are eager to implement the BrightLink in our educational programs.

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    I saw one of these projectors demo'd yesterday, and was very impressed. I have schools that want large Promethean ActivBoards, and think this would be a better and more cost-effective solution. As an interactive whiteboard / interactive projector is seen by the OS as a pointing device, this should give exactly the same functionality as an ActivBoard if running Promethean software. Is anyone doing this, or alternatively does anyone know what software would be needed and what it would cost to licence?

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    Software for Epson

    You have some options for software. Epson has their Epson Interactive Tools that allow you to use the board with any website or program. It gives you basic functionality... much like the drivers for ActivBoards or SMARTBoards. I was in a class the other day where the teacher was using BrainPop with the kids and controlling with the BrightLink interactivity instead of her laptop (she was also outputting the sound to the built-in speakers on the BrightLink, and I was pretty impressed... for 10W speakers, they sounded pretty good in the classroom).

    The add-on software piece is if you want galleries of images and flash activities that are curricular. That's an add-on called RM Easiteach. Normally around $400 for the complete curricular set, it's bundled with the BrightLink for an extra $100.

    If you already have Promethean tools in the classroom (Slate, Votes, or Expressions), then the BrightLink is compatible with the ActivInspire software that runs the Promethean devices. If you don't have any Promethean Tools but still want to use ActivInspire, I believe you can purchase it for about $200.

    In our District, we have both set-ups. We have a school with Votes in the classroom, so they use the BrightLink with ActivInspire. We have a school that will soon have ten BrightLinks that will be using RM Easiteach.

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    waldronm2000 (14th May 2010)

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    Quote Originally Posted by enjay View Post
    Does anyone have one of these? How do they compare to other IWB solutions, either Smart/Promethean style or e-Beam/Mimio style?
    HI,

    We've just had our first one installed today, the EB-450Wi.

    We have 50+ SB580/680/Unifi solutions around the school but thought we would try one of these out after seeing them at the BETT Show. So I can't give feedback on how SMART Notebook software works with them yet (as this is what the staff are use to).

    Only thing I have noticed is make sure your ceiling is high enough to accommodate them, the bigger the image, the greater the distance between the bottom of the wall bracket and the top of the projected image. Our ceiling is ~2.45m and the top of the image is a bit lower than other installations.

    But it does look tidy, and compact as it doesn’t stick out as far as the Unifi35/55 projectors.

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    enjay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MYK-IT View Post
    We have 50+ SB580/680/Unifi solutions around the school but thought we would try one of these out after seeing them at the BETT Show. So I can't give feedback on how SMART Notebook software works with them yet (as this is what the staff are use to).
    On that topic, did you know that to use Smart Notebook with a competing interactive device, you need a licence from Smart which, if memory serves, costs a few hundred quid.

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    Promethean want to charge £499 per user to allow anyone to use ActivInspire on one of these projectors. So, in a school with one Epson projector and 50 staff they would want 50x £499..........

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    I was amazed by this and the guy demoing the projector said its based on wii technology. we are going to quote a school for one of these but i want to make sure it is compatable with active inspire and it works with every bit of the software drawing etc.
    The school is looking to replace the board and have a new projector and this seems a cheaper alternative prviding it works just the same.

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    We just purchased 16xEB-450Wi's

    So far are quite happy, but I have embarked on the path of finding an open source/free solution for the equivalent to ActivInspire or SmartBoard software.

    We have rolled out OneNote 2010 school wide (staff/students) which will fill about 80% of what we are looking for, and then im looking for a combination of other products such as



    Anyone have any suggestions? They are wanting $20K+ to license Promethean ActivInspire for the school with non Prom. hardware.

    Andrew.

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    Not free, but a lot more affordable than what Promethean want to charge.....Take a look at RM EasiTeach Next Generation by Lightbox Education, we use it at my school with a mix of Epson & Promethean hardware. A site licence (typical UK Secondary school) can be purchased for <£1000. It offers many of the features of ActivInspire. You can download an evaluation copy.

    More details at //www.easiteach.com/eng/index.htm

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    Wasn't there a French one that was demoed at BETT and shown somewhere on the EG Youtube coverage that was free, web/java based and used that new OSS IWB format. Perhaps that could work depending on how far along it is.

    Edit: This: http://sankore-program.org/ and its actual software too rather than web entrapped stuff.
    Last edited by SYNACK; 20th February 2011 at 12:43 PM.

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    Epson Short throw projectors are quite good the EB-450WI depending on what you require really x

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    So Smart forbid the use of their software with this product? even if you already have a site license?

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    We nearly bought 12 of those short throw epson projectors but have just been told we need to buy a £500 licence to run promethean, PER CLASSROOM.

    We have the hubs to make activprimary function, do we still need that licence?

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    We are demoing a 450Wi at the moment, it looks good, our main worry is calibration. At the moment we have 138 promethean boards, which can require constant calibration sometimes. The 450Wi has 25 (!!!!) points for calibration and i can't see a teacher enjoying doing that every day. What are peoples experiences of using them??
    We will cross the promethean/software issue when we get to it........

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